Giants' Justin Tuck feeling 'no pain'

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- New York Giants defensive end Justin Tuck says his gut feeling is that he will play on Monday night in the Giants' home opener against St. Louis.

Of course, his gut told him the same thing before last week's season-opener against Washington, which he sat out due to a lingering neck injury.

"My gut was wrong once," Tuck said Thursday. "I hope I don't make that a trend."

Neither do the Giants.

Tuck was limited in Thursday's practice. He said afterward that there was no soreness in his neck. However, he acknowledged that he is still affected by the injury, though he was evasive when pressed on the matter.

"There's no pain," Tuck said. "There's something else, but there's no pain."

He believes the injury is muscular and not structural, so it is unclear what Tuck is referring to.

The Giants' defensive captain suffered a stinger two weeks ago in a preseason game against the New York Jets that forced him to sit out of the Sunday's Week 1 loss. Despite his absence, the Giants registered four sacks of Redskins quarterback Rex Grossman.

But that doesn't mean Tuck wasn't missed.

According to defensive coordinator Perry Fewell, the absence of Tuck and Osi Umenyiora caused issues in the Giants' secondary, which allowed Grossman to throw for 305 yards and two touchdowns.

"We didn't have two of our coverage guys with us," Fewell said.

But he may get one back on Monday.

Tuck said Thursday that he feels "a little better" than he did last week.

Team doctors will have to clear him before he takes the field for a game.

"If I can go out and play on Monday (feeling the way) I felt today, then I will be out there on Monday. So hopefully we don't have any setbacks," Tuck said. "We're doing everything we need to do, or we think we need to do, to make sure I'm going to be on the field on Monday."

In other injury news, wide receiver Hakeem Nicks sat out of the early portion of practice on Thursday but said he expects to play on Monday night.

Nicks said the decision will be left to him. As long as he doesn't suffer any setbacks over the next two days of practice, he believes he will be in the lineup.

He is currently listed as day to day with a bone bruise and hyperextension in his knee, which he suffered in the first quarter of Sunday's game.

Lastly, tight end Travis Beckum (hamstring) sat out of practice Thursday. He also missed Sunday's game due to the ailment. His status for Monday is unclear.

Ian Begley is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.